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Have U.S. Presidents Always Been Addressed as “Mr. President”?

When George Washington was 57, he was elected president of the newly minted country known as the United States. Since he was the first person elected to such a lofty position, congressional discussion in 1789 started to revolve around an important point: How should this new president be addressed? Titles from Europe were bandied about, from “Your Highness” to “His Elective Majesty,” but nothing like that fit the tenor of the new U.S. Constitution. John Adams suggested “His Highness, the President of the United States, and Protector of the Rights of the Same,” which was later condensed to the more simple “Mr. President” that is used today.

Hail to the chief:

  • At one point, Adams suggested that “Majesty” was more fitting, but this idea was discounted by Thomas Jefferson, who said that was “superlatively ridiculous,” and Benjamin Franklin, who called the idea “absolutely mad.”

  • The Constitution did not specify the manner of address for the country’s chief executive. When he was sworn in, the oath of office ended with: “Long live George Washington, President of the United States.”

  • Today, "Mr. President" or "Madam President" is used to address any person holding the title of president, or anyone presiding over certain governmental bodies.

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More Info: Huffington Post

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